Instances of racism and violence toward BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) have received media attention recently, but systemic racism and inequity also run deep – and Humber College has an action-based plan to examine its own practices and culture.
This includes plans for revising hiring practices, providing robust educational sessions about anti-Black racism and the establishment of an African/Black Employee Resource which will launch in the Fall.
Diversity of thought, experience and backgrounds
Humber’s community partners have also stepped up in support of the college’s BIPOC students. Zensurance, a Toronto-based tech company that provides access to insurance products for small and medium-sized businesses, had a goal of creating diversity and equity in the insurance sector and found an opportunity to work with Humber’s Insurance Management – Property & Casualty Program.
“Humber has an industry-leading insurance management program. We have built a solid relationship with the program faculty and administrators who actively seek out opportunities for us to engage with emerging insurance talent,” said Trevor McIntosh, vice president of Operations, Zensurance.
"Diversity is one of our company’s core values and is meant to instill a system of hyper-inclusion by always trying to elevate our experiences with those around us to the next level," he added.
The Zensurance Scholarship is a donation of $12,000 over three years, with an annual scholarship of $4,000 starting in 2021. The successful applicant will be a student in the program who self-identifies as a member of an equity seeking group, with preference given to a student who self-identifies as Black/African, Indigenous and/or racialized person. They need to demonstrate financial need, a passion for insurance, and have made contributions to their community.
Leaders in ensuring diversity and opportunity
An innovator in research execution services, The Logit Group has collaborated with Humber College to promote the advancement of post-secondary education through scholarships and internships for many years.
A recent $15,000 donation from the company will fund a scholarship that will create more opportunities for BIPOC students studying market research in the Research Analyst post-graduate certificate program.
Two students who identify as Black/African or Indigenous will be awarded $2,500 over three years.
The scholarships will be presented to applicants from the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 intakes.
"This is the first research analyst award to focus on presenting more opportunities to communities that have experienced marginalization based on their race. We are excited about this award and the recipients who will be receiving it,” said Sam Pisani, managing partner of Logit Group
The company has hired several former Humber College interns who have since advanced to senior roles within Logit. Logit also provides support and feedback for the Research Analyst program as a member of its program advisory committee.
Support to excel
The Logit Group scholarship donation reflects a commitment to cultural diversity and will deepen Logit’s partnership with the college.
“This is a significant investment in our students at an important time for our program and the College, as we commit to initiatives to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion at Humber,” said Mona Nouroozifar, associate dean of Math and Research Skills & Analytics.
Insurance Management Program Coordinator John McNeil echoes her sentiments and notes that financial gifts like those from Logit and Zensurance can lead students to industries they may not have considered.
“Maybe they didn’t have the means or support to enter the industry and excel,” he said.
McNeil taught one student who had to drop the program for personal and financial reasons.
“If you are trying to find your way with your back up against the wall, it can be impossible.”
He says the woman had been at the top of her class and he often wonders where her career could have taken her had her circumstances allowed her to continue.
Students who encounter similar challenges will now have more support to help them complete their studies and potentially break into two lucrative industries that recognize their skills, experiences and points of view as invaluable.